One of the rebel MPs who walked out of the Labour Party said she was “very tired” when she appeared to describe black people as having a “funny” tint or tinge.
Angela Smith said she “misspoke really badly”, and put her error down to hours of media activities when the breakaway group launched on Monday.
The Penistone and Stocksbridge MP said: “It’s not who I am.”
New Independent Group member @angelasmithmp admits that she "misspoke really badly" after describing ethnic minority people as having a "funny tinge"— Sky News Politics (@SkyNewsPolitics) February 19, 2019
Read more here: https://t.co/sg8FqALNUs pic.twitter.com/ucDcstc6zN
She told Sky News: “I never meant to say that. I misspoke really badly.
“I was very, very tired at that point, I had had six hours of press engagement and I was very tired.
“I was very tired, I misspoke really, really badly and that’s not who I am.
“I’m very confident about that, it’s not who I am and I think anybody who knows me would verify that.”
In an appearance on the BBC’s Politics Live programme on Monday, Ms Smith said: “It is not just about being black or a funny tin … you know, different – from the BME community.”
I'm really sorry that I misspoke earlier on Politics Live - here's my statement. pic.twitter.com/7csM95TFLo— Angela Smith (@angelasmithmp) February 18, 2019
Following the broadcast, Ms Smith said in a video posted on her Twitter feed: “I am very sorry about any offence caused and I am very upset that I misspoke so badly.
“It is not what I am. I am committed to fighting racism wherever I find it in our society.”
Ms Smith was one of seven MPs to announce they were leaving Labour to form the new Independent Group, citing, among other issues, Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.